The smallest version of you isn’t always the best version of you!
As many of you will know, I am hugely passionate about women’s health. I also love helping women thrive in life doing and being whatever makes them happy and inspiring them to become the best versions of themselves.
One thing that keeps coming up time and time again is a popular but self-limiting belief (that sooooo many women have), which is that in order to be the best version of themselves, they need to be the smallest or a much smaller version of themselves. But this simply isn’t true.
So today I wanted to share some inspiration to help you move away from thinking you need to be smaller, or lighter to be deemed a success or valuable in life. And also to ensure you are working on your authentic and internal happiness not just ‘external’ happiness. Read on to find out more….
Smaller isn’t always healthier – I recently read this great Facebook post with some before and after photos with a twist. You can take a look at the full post HERE, but this is the main photo. On the left a woman – yes small and fit and focused, someone who is self-motivated, trains smart and eats clean and lean. But a woman who isn’t happy, balanced, healthy, but a woman who is self-critical with very little self-love and self-care.
Lighter doesn’t always mean success – These are two of the most powerful images I share to my clients to remind them that what you see on the scales should never be the ultimate success marker. So many women who start training regularly, keep using the scales as the only (or most powerful) measure of success which means as weight loss doesn’t happen, or does for a while and then slow down, they then think whatever they are doing isn’t working and stop. But these pictures here – which clearly demonstrate that a smaller* body that weighs more can be healthier, stronger, help you get into your favourite jeans or dress etc. Many women have grown up either going to or seeing family members go to slimming clubs where weight loss on the scales is rewarded or follow diets with tag lines of lose 7 lbs in 7 days for example. This then creates a strong core belief that to be successful you have to see the scales drop, but this simply isn’t true. When you have a strong belief like this, you will look for evidence. Whether that be what your scales say, but also more likely to be hooked to anything that might promise you the ‘weight loss’. If someone shows you evidence to the contrary (like these pictures) you may even have a problem believing it. In psychology, this is called cognitive dissonance (where you also can dispel the ‘right’ evidence) and until you change the core beliefs (by practicing and reinforcing new beliefs) it will make it impossible for women to move away from just seeing success on the scales. Hopefully these pictures will help some of you realise that body composition must be considered too!
*Some women will thrive on being a smaller version of them but this mustn’t be confused with the smallest version
You can be healthy and successful and not have the ‘perfect’ body – Firstly ‘perfection’ doesn’t really exist. Well it kind of does, but it’s only based on what YOU deem to be perfection. Everyone’s perfection is different. Most people ‘s perfection though is influenced by what’s trendy or what the media shows more or what’s in the main stream about what women ‘should have / look like / be’ etc. This of course has been exacerbated 1000 fold since the technology explosion. Since the 60’s there has also been a cultural shift to the smallest is better mindset and it’s been everywhere. This will have influenced those core beliefs you have too, the more ‘evidence’ we see, the more we see it to be true. But the more variety of body shapes there are in pictures and the more media representatives there are who aren’t a size 6, the more women see evidence to the contrary which is that you can be beautiful and healthy and successful without being a size 4.
Great pioneers of this have been Ashley Graham who has said she feels healthier and happy now she isn’t as small and let’s not forget that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. How would you feel about your body if all you saw were women who were a size 16? Much different I can promise you! And I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised to see the new Fabletics advert on TV this week embracing different body shapes in their adverts that show a real range of women’s shapes and sizes – BRAVO! Click HERE to see an article of all the new sports brands who are embracing the same thing.
Be careful who you’re comparing yourself to – As the first point indicates, you can see a picture and ‘think’ that it exudes health but really what people do is see an image and fill in the blanks as to how that person thinks and lives their life. In my BEST program, we do a whole section on comparison and apart from teaching women it’s the thief of joy, we teach them to watch comparing your back of house with someone else’s front of house. Maybe you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself to train regularly, maybe you’ve been tired and eating more sugar. You might see a picture like in point one and think that women has it all and you are useless or worthless or bad. When in fact it could be the other way around. Recent research on body image has indicated that ‘fitspiration’ images that we might think are helpful to us actually have the opposite effect with many women making the women in the images right and themselves wrong. And they are now proving that these images can be detrimental not only to women’s self-motivation but also self-esteem. This is is due to the mind mapping that many women do, and of course the editing / angle given on the photos. Take a look at an awesome article HERE where one woman shows how the angle on photos with the same body on the same day can look like an entirely different one. Maybe you’re sitting at home slumped down like the photo on the right and you see the photo on the left… can you see where I’m going with this!
Plus, smaller doesn’t mean happier and a happy photo doesn’t mean happy – One of my top reads of the decade is this uplifting confession by a woman who had 800,000 instagram followers. She confessed to the behind the scenes of her pictures, with the yoga reading a book image below being one of my favourites. She shares about this photo that ‘I didn’t do any exercise on that day (nor did I ever smile like this whilst reading that book), I just donned the workout gear for the 5 minutes it took to take the photo’. Read the full article HERE
You design your own life, body and health rules – My final point is to remind you all that the power lies in you to design your own rules! This is why all my programs, but especially my new SELF-CARE bootcamp has been so popular with a completely different energy and vibe to it. Women aren’t focusing on the scales, the inches and the weight loss – yes of course that comes to many who improve their eating and become more active. And I do believe that eating well and exercising regularly is essential for short term and long term health and strength. But because we hand it over to themselves to decide what they eat, do, think, feel, achieve and have to create a healthier, more enjoyable life (we do give them guidelines and things to consider!), women are literally thriving and flourishing left right and centre! It considers mind management, habits, consistency, routine, being kinder to themselves, working out how to be more self-motivated to get things done as well as inspiring the girls to wind down more easily, relax guilt free and sleep better. Seeing these women think about their bodies and eating and thoughts and lives in a different way as been mind blowing. And guess what? A different way of thinking has actually helped many women who want to get results, get better results. The shift away from self-punishment to self-nourishment has been so powerful so if you’re wanting to move away from the old school way of thinking and be part of the ‘sack the scales’ team and part of the self-care revolution, come and join us!
The SELF-CARE 28 day online bootcamp kicks off every two weeks, up and coming dates include: Monday 19th June, Monday 3rd July, Monday 17th July, Monday 31st July. It costs £99 or if you have a friend who has never done a Making Things Easy program before we have a 241 SELF-CARE-BUDDY option! Simply book your place, forward us the booking confirmation along with your self-care buddy’s email address and you’re both good to go!